I stumbled on this old blog post from Philz and was immediately like, Mmm…! You must try the granita di caffè at Tazza d’Oro next time you’re in Rome, or make it at home with this version from Bon App or this one from Sunset. So strong and slushy and just sweet enough that you can still taste it even after your palate’s been numbed by the cold.

Philz Coffee Blog

(photo from The Bitten Word)

Mmmm, coffee granita reminds me of my trip to Rome years ago when I happened upon Tazza d’Oro near the Pantheon. They made the BEST coffee granita (well, the first one I had ever tried) and they topped it with the perfectly whipped cream. It was so delicious and it was Italy…I mean, c’mon! The urge to find a replacement for it didn’t hit me until recently. Granita is one of those things that is pretty easy to make. It’s elegant and perfect now that our Bay Area “summer” has arrived.

And then there’s the Philz twist: How about coffee granita with cardamom whipped cream? Sounds like a frozen Tantilizing Turkish or Philharmonic blend…delicious!

Coffee Granita with Cardamom Whipped Cream
This recipe is from Bon Appetit’s April 2010 issue.

* 2 cups water, divided
* 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1…

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Yves Klein’s Untitled blue painting

Some artworks wallop me so that when I first glimpse them, they somehow manage to stop me cold and sear themselves on my memory. That’s what happened the first time I glimpsed this painting at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) a few years ago. Finally I emailed the Collections department at the museum to ask about it and someone kindly informed me of the artist and title of the work.

Yves Klein, Untitled (ANT154), 1961

At first glance it looks like just a bunch of blue smears and smudges across the canvas, right? But then you look closer and you realize what Klein had done: He’d painted his models’ bodies with a rich, deep hue now known as International Klein Blue and had them roll across the canvas in a kind of performance art, stamping themselves on the paper.

I find the effect mesmerizing and haunting, as if these phantom female figures are caught up in some kind of tempest. My favorite is the figure at the top-middle-right. The curves of the hips and belly and breasts are lovely.

(via SFMOMA)

How I Met My Wife

No, not me personally. “How I Met My Wife” is the title of a nimble essay by Jack Winter that appeared in The New Yorker (July 25, 1994) and uses the concept of unpaired words and the opposites of common idioms to fresh effect. A copy hangs up on the editorial bulletin board where I work (okay, because I totally put it there). It’s a classic piece for word nerds.

“It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate.

“I was furling my wieldy umbrella for the coat check when I saw her standing alone in a corner. She was a descript person, a woman in a state of total array. Her hair was kempt, her clothing sheveled, and she moved in a gainly way.

“I wanted desperately to meet her, but I knew I’d have to make bones about it, since I was traveling cognito. Beknownst to me, the hostess, whom I could see both hide and hair of, was very proper, so it would be skin off my nose if anything bad happened.”

Read the complete essay here (if you have access to The New Yorker’s online archives; otherwise all you can access is the abstract) or here (a blogger’s retype, with British spelling and minor typos).

“To my delight, she was committal … I have given her my love, and she has requited it.”

(via The New Yorker)

Retro swimsuits

What an awesome look! Just think, while every other woman is walking around looking more or less the same in a bikini, you can rock a retro one-piece with class and never look dated. I like this cap-sleeve number even more than the Marilyn Monroe–inspired one-piece below (my previous fave). Plus, let’s face it, the ruching would be pretty forgiving. Hope another version arrives in stock before summer!

(Holly by Rey Swimwear and OMO Norma Kamali for Glamour, May ’09)